Ubisoft Retracts PS5 Backward Compatibility Statement [Update]

Ubisoft Retracts PS5 Backward Compatibility Statement [Update]

Update: Ubisoft has removed the line on lack of backward compatibility for PS3, PS2, and PS1 games on PS5 from its next-gen FAQ.

Update, 1:50 p.m. PT: As spotted by Games Radar, Ubisoft has backpedaled a recent claim on its site that the PlayStation 5 will not be compatible with PlayStation 3, PlayStation 2, and PlayStation games.

Its next-gen support page, where the backward compatibility line originally was, now focuses exclusively on how PlayStation 4 games will upgrade to the next-gen console. During PlayStation 5 architect Mark Cerny's deep dive into the next-gen platform, he went into detail about how the PlayStation 5's chip will have a "legacy mode" that allows for PS4 games to be theoretically compatible with the system. Unfortunately, it's shaping up like the same compatibility won't extend further.

You can find the original story below.

If you've got an early, functioning PS3 with backward compatibility, take care of it. In discussing the PlayStation 5's compatibility features, Sony hasn't addressed how or if the new console will support anything older than PS4 titles. Now, a new support page from Ubisoft claims the console won't.

As spotted by Wario64 and Nibel on Twitter, an Ubisoft page about upgrading from PS4 to PS5 includes a note on the console's backward compatibility capabilities. The page is unambiguous in its phrasing:

Backwards compatibility will be available for supported PlayStation 4 titles, but will not be possible for PlayStation 3, PlayStation 2, or PlayStation games.

USgamer has reached out to Sony for comment on the Ubisoft claim and will update this piece if we receive a response.

So far, Sony has limited discussion of the PS5's backward compatibility to its confirmed PS4 support options. Sony expects that the "overwhelming majority" of PS4 titles will work on PS5, and some titles will take advantage of the PS5's improved hardware to deliver "higher or more stable frame rates and potentially higher resolutions."

Discussion of the Ubisoft page has many pointing to PlayStation CEO Jim Ryan's 2017 comments questioning the point of backward compatibility, a stance Ryan later softened on. Even if the PS5 is not planned to launch with backward compatibility beyond the PS4, there's still potential for Sony to add software emulation support for older consoles (as Microsoft did for Xbox 360 and original Xbox support on Xbox One).

Already, the PS5 Digital Edition's lack of a disc drive will present a major barrier to backward compatibility for folks who purchase that version of the console. If having the ability to play your older PlayStation titles is a priority, buying a PS5 may not be a solution.

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Mathew Olson


Mathew Olson is a writer formerly of Digg, where he blogged and reported about all things under the umbrella of internet culture (including games, of course). He lives in New York, grew up under rain clouds and the influence of numerous games studios in the Pacific Northwest, and will talk your ear off about Half-Life mods, Talking Heads or Twin Peaks if you let him.

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